West London Vets’ League Round Up
6 December 2022
Nine league games, plenty of action
With the sad demise of Spartans, Ascot United’s 1st XI found themselves without a game on 3 December 2022. That left the twos to take centre stage. And, crikey, that they certainly did….
All in there were nine games across the West London Vets’ Football League (WLVFL) over the first weekend in December. The Prem was again light on fixtures, cup commitments getting in the way. Just the one game took place there. It was a different matter lower down with three matches in both divisions one and three and a couple of games taking place in Division Two. All good.
Rollercoaster Affair at the Racecourse
Arguably the game of the weekend took place in Division Three. Hersham Southside, played six won six and top of the tree, visited second placed Ascot United 2nds. For their part, Ascot had won four from five and we’re purring along pretty nicely.
The game itself was the proverbial game of two halves. Hersham Southside were out of the blocks like a team possessed, and it wasn’t long before they started banging in the goals. Indeed, by half-time Steve Redding had helped himself to a hat-trick and Jules Renner-Thomas had added a fourth. 4-1. As far as Ascot were concerned it could have been a lot worse, too.
Ascot nonetheless re-grouped, Hersham shuffled their pack a little …. and all of a sudden a completely different game of football emerged. Jez Myhan, Berkshire’s version of ErlingHaaland, pulled a goal back before Stu Flurry slotted home a penalty. Dan Hough then added the fourth. Both sides will ultimately feel they could have won it, but a draw it ultimately ended up.
Xaverians and Latimer Road serve up a feast
The draw at the Racecourse ensured that Hersham would stay six points clear of Ascot (who remain second), but it’s Croxley who now move into third. They took the three points against bottom of the table AFC Hampton.
Elsewhere Latimer Road Vets and Clapham Old Xaveriansplayed out an entertaining 2-2 draw. Clapham lost their keeper, Alex Jayes, in the morning before the game and when Latimer Road’s Dean Lamb neatly chipped in the first and Andrew Mensa added a second Clapham probably felt it was going to be one of those days. As Clapham tsar Gordon McCarthy put it “Clapham heads were rattled like Mike Tyson from a Frank Bruno right hook”.
But, much as Iron Mike did on that famous day back in 1989, Clapham stepped back, sorted themselves out and came outfighting. With 15 minutes to go Ronald O’Hene nodded in a nicely flighted McCarthy free kick and with time running out Mark Hignett rose like a salmon to head in the equaliser. Points shared.
The final game of the day in Division 3 saw Claygate Royals Hounds come out on top against Old Tiffs’ second string. The Hounds raced out of the traps quickly and they were three up within 20 minutes. That more or less killed the game, although Tiffs did at least manage to get themselves on the scoresheet later on.
Kitz the comeback kings
The only game in the top flight saw Sporting Kitz travel to Bank of England. The Bank have been struggling of late andavailability challenges have made competing in the top flighttricky.
They will, however, have been pleased with their showing in the first 45 minutes; they went in to enjoy the half-time oranges 2-0 to the good, Danny Cale and Scott McKenziegrabbing the goals.
Kitz, however, are always good for a comeback and so it was on Saturday. They scored four unanswered goals in the second half and that secured them the three points. The win takes them up to fourth. The Bank may be struggling a bit, but they still remain out of the relegation zone. Their games against Nottsborough and Poly are looking pretty big in terms of deciding who ends up in the bottom two come April.
Claygate ease away
Claygate Royals Hares have now stretched their lead to four points in Division One. Five wins and just the one defeat says that they have had a pretty decent Autumn. Jamrock Steppawere on the wrong end of a Claygate hiding this week, going down 4-0.
Whippet Wanderers continued their good recent run. They beat Old Tiffs 1s 5-1. The Whippets didn’t have it all their own way; Old Tiffs scored first from a corner and a shock looked like it might be looming large. By half-time it was 1-1, Dan Hannah scoring for the hosts, but Tiffs were still very much in it.
With Tiffs down to ten men, the Wanderers then managed to pull away in the second 45 minutes. Hannah got his second of the day whilst Mark Fletcher, Logan Plant and Jamie Grainger-Smith added three more between them.
With Jamrock and Tiffs both losing Civil Service had a chance to put some distance between themselves and the bottom two. That they duly did, easing past Laleham & Kempton 5-2. The win sees Laleham slip to third bottom, just a couple of points above the relegation trapdoor.
Lighthouse shine a light
Hillingdon Abbots remain very much top of Division Two. They gained three points without playing as Double H couldn’t raise a side.
Lighthouse Molesey were arguably the day’s big winners. They jumped three places thanks to a 7-0 thumping of the unfortunate Bank of England second string. Army Crusaders will also be pleased with their weekend’s efforts. They won 2-1 at Old Meadonians, a win that takes them up into mid-table.
December is scheduled to be a busy month in the WLVFL as the weekend of 9/10 December sees games scheduled for the second of what’s for many three games on the bounce. It may well be the case that a few of the games on 10 December – all re-arranged from the weekend that the Queen died (and everything was postponed) – don’t see the light of day. We shall see.
On paper, Chelsea Vets locking horns with Sporting Kitz looks like it’ll be a decent doo in the Prem. Bank of England and Poly will also both be very keen to get three points on the board when they meet.
In Division Two Hillingdon Abbots welcome the unpredictable Old Tenisonians to North-West London whilst Army Crusaders will be looking to build on last week’s win when they entertain MMB.
Finally, two games are scheduled for Division Three. Croxley travel over to Sunbury to play AFC Hampton whilst Latimer Road Vets are scheduled to meet Clapham Old Xaverians(again).
Go well everyone.west